Divorcing Your Narcissist: You Can’t Make This Shit Up!, by Tracy A. Malone
Review by Donna Andersen
Marriage to a sociopath or narcissist is really bad, which is why I think most people who find themselves in this situation should divorce. Unfortunately, divorcing your narcissist can be worse than the marriage, at least while you’re going through it.
Luckily, narcissists who are divorcing tend to use all the same tactics and scams. In her book, Divorcing Your Narcissist: You Can’t Make This Shit Up!, Tracy Malone reveals the typical dirty tricks they employ as they try to gain the advantage over you. If you’re divorcing a narcissist, read the book. Forewarned is forearmed.
Here’s how Tracy begins the book: “To a narcissist, divorce is a game of psychological warfare.” This is the most important concept that you need to understand. No matter how often your narcissist proclaimed undying love, he or she has no interest in an amicable split, where assets are divided fairly and the former partners cooperate in raising the children. The narcissist wants to win at all costs and crush you in the process.
Tracy’s book is filled with excellent insights and advice to help you prepare for what’s ahead so you aren’t blindsided. In fact, knowing what a disordered partner is likely to do will help you not only defend yourself, but use their actions against them.
Planning your escape
The most dangerous time for anyone in an abusive relationship — and marriages to narcissists are always abusive at some level — is when you leave. Every domestic violence agency can provide you with a list of tips for your escape, such as having a go bag packed so you can escape on a moment’s notice if necessary.
But Tracy includes additional detail that I think is really helpful. She writes:
- Keep a journal of abusive or threatening behaviors. This will be helpful if you need to get a restraining order.
- Keep a list of important phone numbers in your wallet. If your soon-to-be ex shuts off access to your phone, you’ll need them.
- Take photos or videos of anything valuable in the marital home. This will help you prove if your ex took marital property, or you did not.
- Create a new password for your wi-fi modem. If you don’t your ex could have access to your network and your data.
Planning your divorce
The key to getting through the divorce is knowing what you truly want, and not just regarding physical property. Is your prime objective to gain your freedom? Protect your kids? Keep the business that you founded? Keep a vacation cottage? Yes, you deserve half of the money and property, but is fighting for them worth the legal and emotional cost?
Tracy advises knowing what you really want — but not communicating it to your opponent. You are facing a brutal negotiation. So put lots of things on your initial list that you know you can part with. The idea is to give up items that aren’t important to you anyway, making your ex feel victorious, while you get what is truly important to you.
Tricks to expect
Tracy has an entire chapter on tricks to expect from the narcissist, divided into multiple categories, such as:
- Financial shenanigans — ruining credit, hiding assets, refusing to pay expenses.
- Using the children as weapons — parental alienation, kidnapping
- Getting you arrested — fabricated claims of domestic violence, recorded on their phone
- Claiming you’re mentally ill — getting you involuntarily committed to a psych ward
- And more
In her book, Tracy includes hundreds of tips and quotes submitted by visitors to her website, NarcissistAbuseSupport.com. As the subtitle of Tracy’s book says, you can’t make this shit up.
Narcissists are callous and vindictive in divorce, and going through it will feel like war. But Tracy has cataloged their typical behavior and stunts. By reading her book you’ll know what to expect, so you can plan accordingly.